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For IHG Rewards fans not familiar with the IHG Ambassador program, it’s a loyalty program that sort of sits on top of the regular IHG Rewards program.
In this article
IHG Ambassador Status
Unlike the standard program, where you accrue status based on how often you stay with IHG or earn IHG Rewards points, the Ambassador status is paid.
For $200, you get:
- An annual free weekend night at IHG (which can now be used at Kimpton properties any day of the week; see below)
- A one-category room upgrade
- 4pm late check-out
- Up to USD 20 credit towards restaurants and bars.
- Mineral water and internet service are complimentary.
- IHG Rewards Platinum Status
How Does the IHG Ambassador “Free Weekend Night” Work?
First, it’s actually a BOGO – Buy One Get One Free. Some people confuse the wording they use to mean one unfettered free night.
Second, you can only use the certificate at an Intercontinental hotel (over a weekend) or a Kimpton Hotel any night of the week (this is new).
Third, you must book using the special Ambassador BOGO rate plan. This is comparable to the “Best Available Rate (BAR)” and therefore will generally not be the cheapest rate, but it’s often not much more.
Fourth, the second night is free, not a blended average. So if you were staying Wednesday and Thursday at a Kimpton and Wednesday night is $399 and Thursday night is $499, you would get $499 (plus tax) deducted from your stay. You can stay as many nights as you want, but it must be at least two nights and the second night is the one that will be credited.
Fifth, it must be on the paid Ambassador rates, not award rates or any other rates.
Sixth, you can check the IHG Ambassador rates here.
Seventh, you can use the certificate on upgraded rooms, including suites!
So What Changed with IHG’s Ambassador Program?
I feel like I’ve already explained this above but, in short, previously you could only use this certificate at an Intercontinental Hotel and on a weekend. This change means you can also now use the certificate at a Kimpton Hotel as well – and on ANY night of the week.
In this example, a Junior Suite at the Kimpton La Peer in Los Angeles is $480 for the first night of a two night stay and $460 for the second night, before tax. Using this certificate would drop $460 (plus the associated tax) off of my stay.
If you run the search on a weeknight, you’ll see Kimptons will be the only available options to use the certificate.
You don’t need Ambassador status to check the rates so it’s a pretty easy way to see if that $200 will be paid back in spades before you sign up.
HT: Loyalty Lobby
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.